Resident Evil 2 is FANtastic

"knock knock open up the door, it's real!"

Almost immediately, there’s an air of familiarity when walking up to the Raccoon City Police Department. It might be because the Raccoon City incident has already been done to death however many times, but it’s mostly due to the original RE2 being my gateway into the franchise. Playing it many times on different systems, there would be no surprise that my anticipation for the RE2make would be ‘HOTLY’.

I could probably sit here comparing/contrasting this one with the original, but I don’t know how fair of an assessment that will be. Despite it being a remake, Resident Evil 2 (2019) tries to make something beyond the hardware limitations of it’s PS1 counterpart, and wants to deliver a new experience with their RE engine. (If you put work into something, you might as well use it.) What is doesn’t do with fixed camera angles, it instead attempts with a flashlight. Barely being able to see in front of your character with a third person perspective, does give a level of unease, but it’s a tension made from tunnel vision as opposed to just not being able to see in front or behind you, by virtue of what the platform is capable of.

In that respect it takes moments from the original game that used to be more cinematic, and has everything play out from the character’s perspective to make it more grounded. Although that could come at a weird price. Sudden moments like the helicopter, or seeing something scamper across the window, are downplayed a little more and are only truly effective if your invested into your experience. The whole point of this version is to make an old game with modern sensibilities. I could also just as easily talk at an annoying length why Resident Evil can’t be the games that they used to be. (That’s my old-man-talking-point-TEDtalk-bullshit-subscribe-to-my-patreon.) As much as I am an old fool for wanting to wax nostalgic, there’s also the possibility that those old games aren’t what I want anymore. Or at least, the way that it used to be doesn’t (or shouldn’t?) need to be redone in the same way as its predecessor.

I think that’s why I don’t want to feel caught in a loop of going, “well the original was great because it did this and this and this better.” I’m not really sure I know what that used to feel like anymore, but I sure as shit can load up this fancy new PS4 game, and feel like I’m back in a familiar place doing familiar things.

This is all a long winded rationale for saying I embraced the shit out of this remake. I get delighted running through the game over and over again through this different lens. from RE7 onward, the franchise seems to be back in it’s shoes that it used to wear. It doesn’t start as over the top as previous instalments, but it sets a tone of unease in the beginning and builds up from that.

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